|The popular pushkar festival that symbolizes a number of traditions is about to begin.|
|The picturesque town of Pushkar is nestled in the heart of nature. Situated at the foot of a long line of hills, it has five legendary rivers, Suprabha, Kanaka, Prachi, Nanda and Saraswati, flowing through the region. The climate too is balanced: Its not as cold as the Himalayas and not as hot as Chennai. Moreover, it neither has the dryness of Sindh, nor the wetness of Bengal.
What is the Pushkar festival all about?
· The Pushkar festival (also called the Pushkar Mela) is a religious cum cultural fest. It is considered the largest camel fair in the world. On November 15, on the occasion of Shankranti, pilgrims visit the Pushkar to take a holy dip in the Pushkar Lake (considered sacred by Hindus) and pray to Lord Brahma. The only Brahma temple (called Jagat pita Shri Brahma Mandir) in Pushkar.
When is the festival?
· The festival is on from November 10-18. However, November 15 is the main day when the pilgrims take the holy dip. Every November, the Pushkar Fair is held for seven days, beginning on Noami and culminating on Kartik Poornima (full moon).
· The centre point of the festival is the large scale buying and selling of camels and other domesticated cattle.
· There are also entertaining camel races, local circuses, folk dances and tattoo artists.
· There are local markets selling camel saddles, glass bangles, silver jewellery, bead necklaces from Nagaur woollen blankets from Metra, textiles printed in Ajmer and Jodhpur and brassware from Jodhpur and Jaipur.
Legend has it that
· The Pushkar Lake came into existence miraculously from the point at the spot where the petals of a lotus fell from the hands of Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. Every November, the town of Pushkar springs into life and gets transformed into an amazing festival ground where pilgrims gather to workship at the Brahma temple on the lake.
In the evening, the entire area resounds with he ringing of bells and as night falls, hundreds of small oil lamps floating on green leaves light up the lake symbolising an act of worship called deepdan.
How to get to Pushkar?
· The nearest airport is Jaipur (The distance from Jaipur to Ajmer, Pushkar is 138 kms by road). The nearest railway station is Ajmer.